Skip to main content

Full text of "Selections from the Murray Papers"

See other formats


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 

Read more about Early Journal Content at 
journal-content . 

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 


Selections from the Murray Papers 

The papers of William Pitt Murray in the possession of the 
Minnesota Historical Society were received from his daughter, 
Mrs. Winifred Murray Milne, last November. They number 
about two hundred letters, commissions, and documents of 
various sorts, dating from 1842 to 191 1. With these papers 
were received a number of pamphlets, some of considerable 
value, about twenty maps, and a few newspaper clippings. 
Most of the letters are addressed to Murray, although there 
are a few written by him and a few of which he was neither 
the writer nor the addressee. To those who are familiar with 
the career of Murray the value of the collection for the history 
of Minnesota will be obvious. Born in Ohio in 1825, he grad- 
uated in law at Indiana University in 1849 and came to the 
incipient territory of Minnesota the same year. He immedi- 
ately took an active part in politics, serving in both houses of 
the territorial legislature, in the constitutional convention of 
1857, and as a representative and senator in the state legislature. 
He also played a prominent part in the government of St. 
Paul, being a member of the city council most of the time from 
1 86 1 to 1879 and city attorney from 1876 to 1889. 1 Besides 
these and other political activities the papers reflect Murray's 
interests in transportation problems, fraternal orders, religion, 
education, and charity. Thus they are of value for nearly all 
phases of the history of Minnesota, and some of them throw 
light on social, economic, and political conditions in other 
states and even in foreign countries. 

The documents here printed are selected primarily for the 
purpose of illustrating the character of the material in the col- 
lection. At some future time it is hoped that a calendar of 

1 Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 535 (M. H. C, 14). 


the whole collection may be published. The first letter deals 
with a subject that has been and still is of perennial interest — 
the utilization of the Fort Snelling Reservation. Those who 
are now advocating the establishment of a western military 
academy on the reservation will find the letter a storehouse of 
arguments, many of which are as applicable to-day as they 
were in 1849. Following this is a letter relating to an early 
project for solving the problem of transportation between St. 
Paul and St. Anthony. Judge Nelson's letter shows that 
""deserving Democrats" had to be taken care of in Washington 
even in 1853. The letter from Kansas, which follows, fore- 
casts, the coming storm in that territory and indicates that 
there was considerable emigration from Minnesota to Kansas. 
W. W. McNair's letter is of interest for the information which 
it contains about the Liberal Republican movement in Minne- 
sota, while the last letter throws light on commercial relations 
between the United States and Hungary and on political con- 
ditions in the latter country. 

C. K. Smith to Thomas Corwin, September 1, 1849 1 

[Murray Papers — Printed Letter] 


To the Hon. Thomas Corwin, of Ohio : 

Sir: — Nature and education have given you an unlimited 
command over the most beautiful figures of speech. Your tal- 
ents, eloquence, and honesty have placed you prominently before 
the American people as one of her most gifted and able states- 
men. You occupy an elevated position in the affections of your 
countrymen, and in the councils of the nation. Your bold, truth- 
ful, and independent course in the Senate of the United States, 
is admired and approbated by many, very many of your fellow- 

1 Charles Kilgore Smith had been in the territory less than two 
months on the date under which this letter was printed. Born in 
Cincinnati in 1799, he was admitted to the bar in 1840 and was 
serving as a judge when President Taylor appointed him secretary 
of Minnesota Territory. On his arrival at St. Paul early in July, 
1849, he appears to have taken a leading part in all sorts of move- 


citizens. Your position would seem to give authority to address 
you on any subject, which may be considered in anywise inter- 
esting to the public. 

I therefore, without any further apology, proceed to remark, 
that peace is at all times desirable, war always to be deprecated ; 
yet it seems a law inherent in human nature, that we cannot always 
have the one or avoid the other. In all the preceding ages, nations 
have occasionally been involved in sanguinary strife. The future 
promises no well-grounded hope of an exemption from this dire 
calamity. The Gospel, and all well-meant and philanthropic 
efforts of peace associations, will fail to avert it. No human 
means seem adequate to secure the blessings of perpetual peace. 
It is true, that wars are not so frequent now as in the earlier 
ages. A reference to the chronicles of mankind would lead one 
to believe that the business of the human race, in its earlier ages, 
was mainly to kill and be killed. In the first wars, the only arms 
used were perhaps those given by nature ; in the progress of ages, 

ments. He is credited with having been the founder and organizer 
of the first Masonic lodge in the territory, a charter member of the 
first lodge of Odd Fellows in St. Paul, the prime mover in the estab- 
lishment of the Minnesota Historical Society and its first secretary, 
a leader in the foundation of two of St. Paul's churches, the originator 
of the public school system of the state, and a member of the first 
board of regents of the university. All of this was accomplished 
in less than two years, for Smith made many enemies and, presumably 
because of the bitter antagonism towards him, he returned to Ohio 
in 1851, where he died in 1866. Minnesota Historical Collections, 8:495; 
12: 108; 14: 714. 

Thomas Corwin, one of Ohio's most brilliant and distinguished 
statesmen, was a Whig leader in the United States Senate at this 
time. Murray is authority for the statement that Smith was a rela- 
tive of Corwin's and owed his appointment as secretary of the terri- 
tory to his influence. W. P. Murray, "Recollections of Territorial 
Days and Legislation" in ibid., 12: 108. 

Smith included this letter in full in his "First Annual Report" 
as secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, printed in the Annals 
of the society "for the Year A. D., 1850-1" (St. Paul, 1851). This 
report was omitted, however, from the reprint of the Annals issued 
in 1872 as the first volume of the Collections and again reprinted in 
1902. The document is there introduced as follows: "Public atten- 
tion has also been called to the propriety of establishing the Western 
Armory at St. Paul, and a Military Academy at Fort Snelling. The 
reasons for the latter institution at that point, are fully set forth in 
the following letter." 


other arms were invented, and new means of injury and destruc- 
tion used. As the implements of war increased, in the same 
ratio wars decreased ; and were it possible to have the art of war 
so improved, that death would be the certain portion of all who 
engaged in battle, it would, in our opinion, put a period to wars. 
While fists and clubs were the only arms employed, men rushed 
into hostilities with much less hesitation than they now do. 

Hence we conclude, that the more destructive wars become, the 
less likely will they be engaged in. This being true, a thorough 
military education, given to any people, is likely to prove a very 
effectual means of preserving peace. When a nation is known to 
be thus prepared, the belligerent powers are more likely to 
respect her rights, and to use every means of avoiding a conflict. 
It is, however, wholly impossible, that all should be thoroughly 
educated in military science. Nor is it necessary; it is quite 
sufficient that a number large enough to guide and direct all 
military operations, should have received such a training. 
Accordingly, in the earliest history of our Republic, it became 
our policy to establish a military academy. We had passed 
through the war of our independence, and in that war, the want 
of men who had received a military education was apparent ; and 
the advantages of it were strongly evidenced by the efficient aid 
rendered us by foreigners who came among us. It is not easy to 
estimate the benefits which resulted from the military skill of 
Steuben, and the discipline which he established at Valley Forge, 
during the time our army was in winter quarters at that place. 
General Washington felt the advantages of military science so 
strongly, that in his eighth annual message, he recommended the 
establishment of a military academy in these words: 

"In proportion as the observance of pacific measures might 
exempt a nation from practising the rules of the military art, 
ought to be its care in preserving and transmitting by proper 
establishments, the knowledge of that art. Whatever argument 
may be drawn from particular examples, superficially viewed, a 
thorough examination of the subject will evince, that the art of 
war is at once comprehensive and complicated; that it demands 
much previous study, and that the possession of it in its most 
improved and perfect state, is always of great moment to the 
security of a nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care 
of every government ; and for this purpose an academy where a 
regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient 
which different nations have successfully employed." 


Five years after this recommendation, Congress, by law, estab- 
lished a military academy at West Point, where it still remains. 
This was by the "Act fixing the military peace establishment of 
the United States," approved March 16, 1802. However, "An 
act to authorize the purchase of a tract of land for the use of the 
United States," approved July 5th, 1790, was the first law on the 
subject of West Point. But the academy did not do much for 
a number of years. It lingered along until the war of 1812, 
which taught its advantages anew. Soon after that war, new 
energy was given to it ; and it went into active and efficient oper- 
ation. Many acts of Congress have, from time to time, been 
passed, regulating this institution. Formidable opposition has 
arisen at various periods. It has, however, at length won its way 
to general favor as an institution of great benefit. If there were 
any lingering doubts remaining, the late war with Mexico must 
have dissipated them. The incalculable services rendered by 
those who had been educated at West Point, in that struggle, must 
satisfy every one of its vast utility. Whatever may be the opin- 
ions of the bravery of our soldiery who were engaged in Mexico, 
it cannot be denied, that our long list of brilliant military achieve- 
ments is mainly owing to the science taught at West Point. It 
is no part of the object of the writer to labor an eulogy upon our 
military academy. The names of Ringgold, Swift, M'Kee, and 
Clay, who fell in the Mexican war, together with a host of others 
who escaped their fate, attest the advantages of the institution; 
and as long as the brilliant victories obtained by our arms in 
Mexico, from Palo Alto to the city of Mexico, live on the pages 
of history, that long will the vast utility of the military science 
taught at West Point be remembered. 

But it is not alone in the military art that "West Pointers" 
have distinguished themselves. In every department of life — in 
the tented field — at the bar — in our seminaries — in authorship — 
aye, even in the pulpit, West Point can boast its stars. No insti- 
tution in our country gives a more practical and useful education 
than West Point. 

Taking it for granted, that all will admit its utility, and that 
its benefits and favors should be well and equally diffused 
throughout our country, we would inquire, Does the institution 
at West Point answer our purposes in its present condition ? Is 
that place sufficient to educate all whom it is desirable should be 
thoroughly instructed in those solid branches which are essential 
to a good military education? Does it satisfy the wants and 


avoid the prejudices, which grow with the growth and strengthen 
with the strength of the country? By an act of Congress, 
approved July 7th, 1838, the number of Cadets is limited to two 
hundred and fifty. The rule of admission is, that one Cadet 
shall be admitted from each Congressional district. Since this 
rule was established, the ratio of representation has been increased 
from 47,700 to 73,000. Thus the number of Cadets does not 
increase in proportion as our population increases. The popula- 
tion of the United States then was about 13,000,000. It is now 
supposed to be over 20,000,000. Our borders are continually and 
rapidly extending; and if the spirit of war remains as rife as in 
former times, the danger of being involved in hostilities will 
greatly increase; and we will consequently require a greater 
number of men educated in military science. 

If this reasoning be correct, our circumstances demand an 
increase in the number of Cadets ; and if the number be enlarged, 
the establishment at West Point is wholly inadequate for their 
accommodation. In fact, it is not sufficient, under its present 
organization, to satisfy the country, nor accommodate the pres- 
ent number authorized by law. Although the number which may 
be admitted is two hundred and fifty, yet, from some unaccount- 
able reason, the ordinary number in the institution is about two 
hundred. For various reasons, many of them are dismissed; 
doubtless most of them for good cause, and perhaps all. The 
number of graduates since its organization, we cannot state. 
We have no data at hand to enable us to determine with certainty ; 
but it does not exceed twelve hundred, which is twenty-five grad- 
uates for each year since the organization of the institution. 
Quite a small number indeed, in comparison with our present 
immense population of 20,000,000. As before stated, we believe 
the number of Cadets should be increased so as to be commensu- 
rate to the increased population and wants of our growing and 
widely extended country. This will require a similar or auxil- 
iary institution elsewhere. The new institution should be in the 
West, to meet the wants of the country. It is but just, that the 
convenience and interest of the great West should be accom- 
modated in this matter. Millions of money from the public 
Treasury are disbursed in the East, while to the West it is dealt 
out with a parsimonious hand. It is justice to the West to have 
some public favor in this way. She has long complained of 
injustice in this matter; and the time is fast approaching, when 


she can enforce, by her numerical representation, this equitable 

But it is not in this view that we urge the erection of a military 
academy in the West. It is mainly in regard to the necessity and 
convenience of the matter that it is urged. If it be a good thing, 
its benefits should be equally diffused. In looking for a particu- 
lar location for this auxiliary institution, there are three important 
considerations which should influence its locality. The health 
of Cadets being a matter of paramount importance, that should 
be the first consideration. The second should be the convenience 
of access to the place ; and the third should be the economy of the 
matter in a pecuniary point of view. The place which combines 
these advantages in the greatest degree should be selected. 

In casting about, we can name no place which seems to com- 
bine them in so great a degree as Fort Snelling. Viewing all 
things, this strikes us as being the very place for such an estab- 
lishment. It is more like West Point for scenery, health, and 
many other particulars, than any place on the American continent. 
Its buildings, arrangement, and whole conformation are very 
similar. It will so impress any person upon inspection. It is 
a military post, established in 1819. The march of our popula- 
tion westward, now renders it of little use for military defence. 
At all events, it could be sufficiently manned by Cadets for all 
practicable purposes ; and the expense of keeping it up would not 
be more than the present expenditure, so that the Government 
would not have to lay out one additional cent by converting it into 
an academy. 

It will be seen, however, by the act making appropriations for 
the support of the military academy for the year ending the 30th 
of June, 1850, that the sum of $171,394 61 was appropriated, 
which is taken as the average sum appropriated yearly since the 
organization, to keep up and sustain the institution. It has been 
in existence forty-seven years, which multiplied by the appropria- 
tion of $171,394 61 will produce the sum of eight millions fifty- 
five thousand five hundred and eighteen dollars ; which, divided 
by twelve hundred, will leave an expenditure for each student of 
six thousand seven hundred and thirteen dollars. We state the 


Fort Snelling is in a place which is, beyond all question, 
one of the most healthy in the United States; in fact it is pro- 
verbially healthy. It is useless to extend our remarks on this 
point, for it can have no rival as to health. 


Next of its convenience. It is situated on the Mississippi river, 
at the confluence of that and the Minnesota or St. Peters river — 
easily arrived at by means of steamboats at all times, except when 
blocked up by ice. By reference to the map, it will be seen that 
Cadets from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, 
Wisconsin, and Iowa, will find it of easy access — much more so 
than West Point. These and the States that will spring up in 
the North-West, will, before many years, have one half of the 
population of the United States. Thus it is seen that Fort Snell- 
ing commends itself to favor from considerations of convenience. 

We come lastly to notice it with reference to public economy. 
The fort is large and capacious — well built with stone — and has 
ample room, admirably adapted for the accommodation of three 
hundred Cadets. It has all the necessary buildings, out buildings, 
&c, and appears as if built purposely for an academy ; so that no 
expense need be incurred for buildings. Connected with it is a 
military reservation of twelve miles square; that part of the reser- 
vation immediately surrounding the fort is well suited for parade 
ground. It is understood that the Government has authorized 
the preliminaries to a treaty with the Sioux Indians, which, it is 
presumed, will be consummated ere long. Thus we shall acquire 
a tract of country extending from the fort, west, between the 
Mississippi and Minnesota rivers; so that any number of acres 
may be appropriated and set apart for the use of the academy. 
Perhaps no other suitable place in the country could be selected, 
which would have this and so many other arguments in its favor, 
but Fort Snelling. These facts show, that on the score of economy 
it is a very desirable location for a military academy ; and thus we 
find it combines all the advantages which should commend a 
place as a site for such an institution. 

The scenery around this point is by no means inferior to that at 
West Point. The place is, as before stated, at the confluence 
of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers — the former, a beautiful 
stream, which winds its way from the south-west until it unites 
with the Mississippi, which comes from the' north-west. On the 
point upon an elevated piece of ground, stands Fort Snelling — 
a place strong by nature, and rendered almost impregnable by 
the military works. It looks as though the dogs of war might 
bark at it until they split their brazen throats, and it would laugh 
in scorn at the power of battle. Far away to the north-west 
stretches a beautiful plain, smooth as a meadow. Turn your eyes 


around, and for beauty and sublimity of scenery — from the bold 
precipice to the smooth, beautiful lawn — clumps of treees — oak 
openings, which look like an old orchard — in short, all that can 
please and charm the eye is here presented. South of the Fort, 
in full view, is Mendota, the station of the American Fur Com- 
pany. Back of this the country rises in beautiful grandeur, and 
spreads to the eye a delightful landscape. Whatever advantages 
which pleasing scenery, bold or beautiful, may have upon the mind, 
is here to be realized. Taking it all in all, it seems that Congress 
should look to this matter, and proceed to organize at this place, 
at an early day, a military academy, on principles similar to West 
Point. In every point of view, the establishment of an auxiliary 
institution seems the best policy, and Fort Snelling the place. 

St. Paul, Minnesota Territory, September 1st, 1849. 

(Chron. & Reg. Print, St. Paul.) 
[Endorsed:] C. K. Smith Letter Mil. Academy. 

S. B. Elliot to Murray, November 15, 1852 

[Murray Papers — A. L. S.] 

Cincinnati Nov 15 1852 
W P Murray Esq 
Dr Sir 

I have received two letters from you of late which ought to 
have been answered before but a multiplicity of engagements has 

Enclosed please find the form for a charter which I hope you 
will succeed in getting through. I doubt not it can be made 
useful. I keep pretty well posted on Minnesota Improvements 
and I cannot think of any project that will take so well as a 
Plank or Rail Road from St. Paul to St. Anthony with the privi- 
ledge of extending it to Sauk Rappids or Crow Wing. Or if a 
Rail Road is prefered perhaps it would be better to get a priv- 
iledge to extend from St. Anthony to some point towards Fon du 
Lac. Perhaps a charter for a Rail or Plank Road from St 
Paul to Stillwater would be worth something if you can get them 
both t[h] rough. 

Please let me hear from you often and I shall have plenty of 
time in a few days to answer all your letters pro[m]ptly. 

160 acre Land Warrants are now worth $150.00. 

Yours truly 

S B Elliot 


R. R. Nelson 1 to Murray, March 3, 1853 
[Murray Papers — A. L. S.] 

Washington March 3/53 
Friend Murray 

Your favor enclosing papers &c was handed me a few days ago 
by Mr Sibley. 2 I will present them personally to the President 
as soon as the inauguration is over. I know of no applicant but 
yourself for that office and your chances are good. 

The Democratic party must succeed in preventing those indi- 
viduals who opposed us last fall from being rewarded for their 
treachery, and I am pretty sure that Mr Pierce will do the fair 

Minnesota is well represented here Olmstead, 3 Col R, Lowry, 4 
Hollinshead, 5 Steele 6 &c are all on hand. 

1 Rensselaer Russell Nelson was born in New York in 1826, was 
admitted to the bar in 1849, and came to St. Paul the following year. 
In 1857 President Buchanan appointed him a territorial judge, and 
on the admission of Minnesota to the Union he was made a United 
States district judge. He resigned in 1896 and died in St. Paul in 
1904. Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 543 (M- H. C, 14). 

2 Henry H. Sibley was the delegate from Minnesota Territory in 
Congress at this time. Ibid., 702. 

3 Probably David Olmsted, who located a trading post at Long 
Prairie in 1848, moved to St. Paul in 1853, and became editor of the 
Minnesota Democrat. He was prominent in territorial politics, serving 
as president of the council in the first legislature, 1849, and as mayor 
of St. Paul in 1854. In 1855 he was a candidate for the position of 
delegate but was not elected. The reference may be to S. Baldwin 
Olmstead of Belle Prairie, who was president of the council in 1854 
and 1855. The spelling of the name in the document would indicate 
the latter, but the former was the more prominent in politics. Ibid., 

4 Probably Sylvanus B. Lowry, who had been associated with Rice 
and Sibley in the Indian trade. He was a member of the Democratic 
party and served in the council in 1852 and 1853. Governor Gorman 
appointed him adjutant general in 1853, but he was removed from 
office soon afterwards as a result of political quarrels. W. H. C. 
Folsom, Fifty Years in the Northwest, 439 (St. Paul, 1888); William 
B. Mitchell, History of Stearns County, 2: 1080 (Chicago, 1915). 

5 William Hollinshead came to St. Paul in 1850 and formed a part- 
nership for the practice of law with Edmund Rice and George L. 
Becker. Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 338 (M. H. C, 14). 

6 Doubtless Franklin Steele, who played a prominent part in the 
early history of Minneapolis. Ibid., 738. 


There is no doubt but what true & firm Democrats will receive 
the appointments most of them I hope in the Territory, but that is 
perhaps doubtful. The ultimate success of the party is the great 
object, and we must attain that if possible. 
Remember me to Williams 1 & all others 

Yours truly 

R. R. Nelson 

Aaron Foster 2 to A. L. Williams, 1 February 26, 1855 
[Murray Papers — A. L. S.] 
Leavenworth City Kansas Feb 26 th 1855 
Friend Williams 

I promised you before leaving St Paul, that I would write to 
you and give you a description of the country, we are all in 
good health, and hope this may find you, and yours the same, 
we arived here on the 9 th of November, one month from the time 
we left St Paul, we were all unwell at the time, but have enjoyed 
excellent health since. I am inclined to think this is a very 
healthy section of country. I am much pleased with the climate, 
the coldest day this winter, the thermometer was only five degrees 
below zero, the River has not closed this winter at this point, 
the last Boat left here on the 9 th of December, but a Boat might 
have come up any time during the winter, we are looking for one 
up every day, they Telegraphed from St Louis to Weston, that 
a Boat would leave on the 20 th this month, you will understand 
from that, that we are not out of the way of the lightning, as it 
strikes within five or six miles of us. this Town, or City as it 
is called, is situated two and half miles below Fort Leavenworth 
on the Missouri River, and is a most delightful situation, there 
are about fifty buildings including all kinds and sizes, and the 

1 Doubtless Amzy L. Williams, who was a law partner of Murray's 
in 1853, as evidenced by a letter from Williams to G. W. Featherston- 
haugh, February 17, 1853, in the Murray Papers. The existence of 
such a partnership is confirmed by Murray's daughter, Mrs. Winifred 
Murray Milne. According to C. E. Flandreau, Williams came to St. 
Paul in 1851. "Bench and Bar of Ramsey County" in Magazine of 
Western History, 8:63. 

2 Aaron Foster, born in Pennsylvania in 1817, settled in Stillwater 
in 1846 and moved to St. Paul the following year. He was a car- 
penter by trade and served as a justice of the peace for a number of 
years. He enlisted in the army in 1864, but died before entering the 
service. J. Fletcher Williams, History of the City of St. Paul, 168 (M. 
H. C, 4); T. M. Newson, Pen Pictures of St. Paul, 70 (St. Paul, 1886). 


inhabitants number 2123 and consist of the following clases, one 
hundred men, twenty three women, one hundred children, one 
thousand dogs, and nineteen hundred woolves, and we look for 
a large adition to our present population when spring opens, of a 
few thousand rattle snakes, fifty of the male population, are 
Lawyers and the rest you might swear was Carpenters, the 
great difficulty with this place, is that there cannot be a good title 
given, as this Town is situated on the Deleware Reserve, and the 
Lotts are Surveyed off only 25 feet front by 110 deep, I do not 
think this will be the seat of government, it is a strong Pro 
Slavery hole, and a great portion of the Lotts are owned by 
Missourians, and our Governor is free Soiler all over, they 
elected a strong pro slavery man to represent us in Congress, yet 
I do not think this will be a slave state, although the Missourians 
help us very generously at the Elections. I think we will come 
the Paddy over them this spring Election, we have Organized a 
sosiety eaquel to the H. Ns. I suppose you understand that. I 
am affraid some of our St Paul Boys are strongly tinctured with 
the Pro. speaking of the St Paul Boys there are in this place 
Sellors, 1 Dr Day, 2 James Kirkpatrick 3 Mr Russell and myself. 
A J Whitney 4 is here at times St Paul is well represented here. 
Kirkpatrick is very feeble, he will not be able to stand it long. I 
do not like liveing in this Country as well as I do in Minnesota, 
yet I like the climate much better I have my health much 
better here. I have not had a cold since I came to the Territory 
and have stoped Coughing entirely, we all live in Buildings with- 
out plastering, and no person sick in the Country, there are five 
Companys of Soldiers at this Fort, and none of them sick, there 
is no timber in this Country, and Lumber is very dear, matched 

1 Benjamin L. Sellors was in St. Paul as early as 1849 and served 
as sergeant-at-arms of the second territorial council, 1851. Minnesota 
Pioneer, January 9, 1851; Williams, St. Paul, 215, 266 (M. H. C, 4); 
Minnesota Historical Society, Annals, 1850-51, p. 64 (St. Paul, 1851). 

2 Probably Dr. David Day, who practiced medicine in St. Paul from 
1849 to 1854. If so, he must have soon returned from Kansas, as he 
was a partner with J. R. Jenks in the drug business in St. Paul in 
1856. Newson, Pen Pictures, 109; St. Paul City Directory, 1856-57, p. 85; 
Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 167 (Af. H. C, 14). 

3 James Kirkpatrick was a resident of St. Paul in 1850. Williams, 
St. Paul, 268 (M. H. C, 4). 

* Andrew J. Whitney came to St. Paul in 1853 and was appointed 
clerk of the supreme court the same year. He was city clerk of St 
Paul in 1858. Ibid., 340, 410, 462; Newson, Pen Pictures, 394. 


pine flooring $65.00 per thousand feet, Green Cotton Wood 
boards 30.00 per thousand, Lathes are 8.00 per thousand. Dry 
goods, Grocerries, and provisions are cheaper here than St Paul, 
they have been ploughing on the Government Farm all winter ex- 
cept January, we have had no rain but once since last June, we 
have had three snow storms but it only stops a few days with us, 
but it blows the hair off of a mans head — a perfect hurricane. T. 
wish you would do me a small favour if you can that is call on 
Mr Morrison 1 and tell him we are all well and that I will write 
to him after I get leisure, and he owes me some six or seven 
dollars ask him how much it is and get it, and pay Mr. Terry 2 
the amount of my postage since I left, and pay yourself for 
trouble, and if any left send it to me, when you write. Send me 
a paper at times, and I will do the same excuse this letter, or me 
as I have four more to write this evening. I am affraid you wilt 
not be able to get much information out of my scriblings, but you 
are a Lawyer and ought not only to be able to read bad writing, 
but make out what a man realy ment, if he only had sence 
enough to express himself. Give my respects to all the folks 
in St Paul and accept the same yourself 

Respectfully Yours 

Aaron Foster 
N B write soon and direct your letters to Fort Leavenworth 
Kansas we have no post office here yet 

W. W. McNair 3 to Murray, July 31, 1872 

[Murray Papers— A. L. S.] 

Minneapolis July 31 st 1872 
Hon W. P. Murray 
Dr Sir 

I have gone to St Paul twice since the day our committee met 
to see you but failed to find you either time 

Upon consultation with Democrats since the action of the 
State Com te & the liberal Com te in determining to have sep- 

1 Probably Wilson C. Morrison, who settled in St. Paul in 1848 and 
died there in 1892. Newson, Pen Pictures, 87; Williams, St. Paul, 198, 
200, 269; 5"/. Paul City Directory, 1893, p. 998. 

2 John Carlos Terry was assistant postmaster in St. Paul from 1853 
to 1871. Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, 773 (M. H. C, 14). 

3 William Woodbridge McNair, born in New York in 1836, settled 
in St. Anthony in 1857 and was admitted to the bar the same year. 


arate Conventions I find them almost unanimously of opinion 
that it would have been better to have had but one Convention, 
but that since the calls have been issued & the resolution rec- 
omending that in all other conventions & primary meetings the 
Democrats & liberal Republicans co-operate it would be better to 
do so, I therefore assent to this plan should you think best to 
adopt it. 

Permit me also to suggest that in the call we adopt some dis- 
tinct party name as for instance "Democratic Republican Con- 
vention for the 3 d Congressional District of Minnesota" or some 
other equally good name, and then invite all who are willing to 
join in endeavoring to secure the election of Greely & Brown & 
the local tickets placed in nomination by the "Democratic Repub- 
lican party" in the several counties in this District of the State, 
& who favor the adoption by the people of the Principles enunci- 
ated in the Platforms adopted at Cincinnatti & Balf to join 
with us. 

As to the representation it will, in case a convention of Dem- 
ocrats & Liberals is called have to be based upon the entire vote 
& I would suggest that we take the vote for Governor last cast 
and allow to every Three hundred voters or a majority fraction 
thereof one delegate except in the counties in which the entire 
vote does not exceed Three Hundred when we would allow one 
delegate as heretofore. I have made a compilation of the vote cast 
at the last gubernatorial election, in the several co[u]nties now 
comprising the 3 d Dist & enclose it as it will save you some time & 
trouble, should you think best to base the representation upon the 
entire vote of the district. The first column of figures is the 
N° of votes cast for Mr Austin in the respective Counties, — the 
second the number cast for Mr Young — the third the aggregate 
for each county — the fourth the N° of Delegates allowed by the 
call for the last State Convention upon the basis of One Delegate 
to every one Hundred and fifty votes, — the fifth the N° of dele- 
gates allowed to each County upon a basis of one to every Three 

He served as county attorney of Hennepin County from 1859 to 1863 
and as mayor of St. Anthony from 1869 to 1872. He was a candidate 
for Congress in 1876, running on the Democratic ticket, and in 1883 
was offered the nomination for governor. His death occurred in 1885. 
In 1872 McNair and Murray were selected as members of the Demo- 
cratic campaign committee for the third congressional district. Isaac 
Atwater, History of Minneapolis, 1 : 453 (New York, 1893) ; St. Paul 
Pioneer, June 20, 1872. 


Hundred voters in the county which I think would be about right, 
except in the case of Stearns County where the Democratic vote 
has been much larger than the Republican so that in changing the 
basis of representation from 150 Democratic to 300 of both 
parties the representation for Stearns is reduced from 11 to 8. 
how would it do in fixing the apportionment to give them the usual 
number eleven (11) & say nothing about it. I would also sug- 
gest that I think a good time for the convention would be the day 
before the state convention at 2 P. M. if a hall can be determined 
& St. Paul the place. 1 On Monday when in St Paul I saw Mr 
Staples 2 & I conclude from what he said the foregoing suggestions 
would meet his views if satisfactory to the other members of the 
Committee. It is no doubt time the call was issued 

Respectfully yours 

W. W. McNair 

Joseph Fuchs to Murray, July 2, 1875 s 

[Murray Papers — A. L. S.] 

Pest, Ungarn July 2 /75 
Wm. P. Murray Esqu. St. Paul 
Dear Sir 

I make free to inform you that through various reasons the 
negotiations with the I Hung. Transp. C° were not concluded; 
a brother in law of mine who was instrumental in founding it, 
thought to see good reasons why he should withdraw his funds 
first, and laterly even his countenance from the institution. On 
my arrival (the 31 st May) they showed willingness to have me 

1 The St. Paul Pioneer of August 4, 1872, contains the call, signed by 
the members of both the Liberal Republican and Democratic com- 
mittees. Stearns County was allowed eleven delegates, as suggested 
by McNair. 

2 Isaac Staples, a prominent lumberman of Stillwater, was another 
member of the Democratic committee for the third congressional 
district. A branch of his business was located in St. Paul. St. Paul 
Pioneer, June 20, August 4, 1872; Upham and Dunlap, Minnesota Biog- 
raphies, 734 (M. H. C, 14). 

3 The printed heading to the sheet on which this letter is written 
is of some interest. It begins "Joseph Fuchs, Commission-Merchant," 
and is continued by the following at the left of the sheet with a 
German version at the right: "offers his services for the purchase 
and sale of raw products as well as other merchandise on Commis- 


unite with them, even though they had fallen out with my friends ; 
since a large share of needed funds were withdrawn they confine 
their business only to forwarding, leaving Commission etc., alone. 
Under such circumstances it required no deep insight to perceive 
that the I Hung. Transp. C o1 were not the parties best suited to 
further my views, & do justice to the manufacturers I am to 

I discontinued therefore the negotiations, that were hardly com- 
menced, and after some search in another direction, it is now my 
pleasant duty to inform you that I have been able to induce Mr. 
Rudolf Herzog to lend his influence and become an associate in 
the agr. implement business to which I shall wholly devote myself. 
(Unless indeed the government of the U. S. should see fit to 
appoint me its representative, in place of Mr Kauser who has 
resigned through stress of business). Mr. R. Herzog is an old 
businessman and landowner, besides being the founder of the 
first factory in Hungary for the manufacture of bone meal & 
of animal coal ; his factory has lately become the property of a 
stock C° but he has a large interest there yet & remains the lead- 
ing & counseling director of the enterprise. Mr Herzog is one 
of our well known businessmen and any of our banks will on 
proper application give his financial standing. — The business will 
for the present be conducted from the office of Rud. Herzog 
Tabakgasse N r 1 under the firm & name of Joseph Fuchs which 
I alone will sign as below. 

The letter of introduction which you were so kind as to give 
me, to the american minister Mr. Orth I have not yet delivered ; 
I was in vienna, but could not take the time to call on him. 

I hope that Mrs Murray & the children are well; now that I 
am so far away, I would give something to sit on your front stoop 
in the shade & read the St. Paul Press or the Pioneer for that 

The Hungarians elected their legislators yesterday. Those who 
pay taxes to the amount of abt $5 00 pr year & that promptly 
paid, have the franchise ; the right to choose their representatives 
was granted only a few years ago, & our people consider it a great 

sion. Represents home and foreign producers and American & 
European manufacturers of agricultural machinery and implements. 
The highest references at Home and Abroad. Sole representative 
of the celebrated Japanese Paper Ware which will not leak, break,, 
shrink, or fall to pieces." 

1 Imperial Hungarian Transportation Company. 


boon, show also that they apreciate it by displaying of national 
(red, white & green) banners with the name of the favorite candi- 
date; The Sundays are used for processions in honor to the 
candidate, he holds his programme speeches, & is conducted to 
his house by his adherents who deafen each other with cries of : 
filjen. (cheer.) The franchise is considered by too many as yet 
as a plaything a toy and without considerable noise they consider 
it has no value, with the greatest respect I am yours obedient 

Joseph Fuchs